Summer

Gardening is a matter of your enthusiasm holding up until your back gets used to it. ~Author Unknown

Armenian cucumber

Armenian cucumber

It’s often challenging  for those of us living in hot climates to get truly excited about summer in the garden.

It’s often a time of triage and heartbreak.

Production slows down and almost stops, while pest and pathogen problems ramp up and seem never-ending.

This is the time when a lot of vegetable gardeners in hot climates pull up anything that doesn’t show a will to live or meet them halfway.

It’s when we dream of  and start planning (and even planting) the fall and winter gardens.

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Tarte Tatin

June 13, 2014

This famous upside-down apple tart starts with caramelized apples, studded with almonds and bits of chewy apricots, and topped with a flaky, buttery crust. Inverted, this dessert makes an impressive—and mouthwatering—presentation.

B.J. Thomas’ Watermelon and Feta Cheese Salad

September 20, 2013

It’s a good thing B. J. Thomas doesn’t keep his musical trophies in the kitchen because there’d be no room for food.

Homegrown Tomatoes

April 5, 2013

If you are a fan of tomatoes--the most popular food crop in the home garden, then you ought to grow them at least once so you can know firsthand the joy of an honest, fresh, ripe tomato.

Prodigious Peppers

August 8, 2012

Throw a party for your pie hole with peerless peppers passionately propagated with your own precious paws. Power to the peppers!

Lamb Chops with Zucchini Bake

August 27, 2011

The standard American approach to cooking is to come up with dinner plans and then shop for the ingredients. Buying local takes more creativity. You need to look at what's available at the market and then plan your menu accordingly.

Pico de Gallo

July 2, 2011

Cindy Haenel, a chef instructor at Central Market Cooking School in Austin, Texas teaches the school's Knife Skills 101 course. She says her recipe for Pico De Gallo will give you plenty of practice using this most important kitchen tool.

Irrigating the Garden

April 30, 2011

The site of lush green lawns and luxuriant flower borders have been known to take one’s breath away. Yet if the caretakers of such pastoral scenes are not wise in the ways of watering, the amount of water used to maintain them can cause you to gasp for breath.

What to Plant Now

April 30, 2011

In May, when the majority of gardeners in states north of the Mason-Dixon line are just planting their spring vegetable gardens, those of us in Texas and points south have been there and done that and have our sights set on summer.

Growing Citrus in the Home Garden

March 19, 2011

The seductive fragrance of the blooms and the promise of aromatic, sweet and tangy fruits entice those of us who live in places not hospitable to growing citrus to try it anyway.

Compost Happens

February 26, 2011

You can easily recreate in your backyard what nature does, well, naturally. By collecting a sufficient volume of organic matter, mixing it together in the proper ratios, and maintaining ample aeration and hydration, you will end up with humus. And humus is absolutely essential to the health of plants and people. It provides nutrition to plant life and plants provide us with, well, everything.